Canadian GP: Title fight wide open, say Red Bull

By Andrew BensonChief F1 writer in Montreal
Canadian Grand Prix highlights

Red Bull say the Formula 1 title fight is still wide open - despite their man Sebastian Vettel extending his lead to 36 points at the Canadian Grand Prix.

The German beat Ferrari's Fernando Alonso into second and became the first man to win three times this year.

But team boss Christian Horner said: "I don't think you can write anybody off at this point in the championship.

"Our focus is on trying to do the best we can. Then the championship tables tend to take care of themselves."

Vettel delight at 'great' win

Alonso's second place moved him into second in the title standings ahead of Lotus's Kimi Raikkonen, who is now 44 points behind Vettel. Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton remains fourth, 55 points adrift of Vettel with Red Bull's Mark Webber fifth, 63 off the lead.

Horner said: "Ultimately you can't write-off Kimi; he could quite easily put a run of race results together as could Lewis. And Mark could get himself back in the championship as well.

"While the points look healthy at the moment... you can't afford any complacency. The margins can rapidly be eroded."

With Alonso having to battle up from sixth place on the grid, Ferrari boss Stefano Domenicali admitted his team had to improve their form in qualifying.

"Unfortunately, easy to say and difficult to do. That's the key point," he said.

"We have seen the performance during the race is very good. Sebastian did an incredible race but when you have such a strong qualifying you can have this kind of situation.

"If you start behind you are not able to attack and second is the maximum we could have done."

Alonso echoed Domenicali's remarks, pointing out that Ferrari had not scored a pole position in a dry qualifying session since the 2010 Singapore Grand Prix.

Ferrari need to improve - Alonso

But he added that Vettel's margin was still small enough for him to consider the title a realistic possibility - saying he will only consider the fight over if he is 80 points adrift.

"That will be a very critical situation, which is more than three races," the Spaniard said.

"In the last six or eight years, there were people recovering from more than 30 points on the old points [system], which is three races, so it's 75 or 80 points. So hopefully we're not going to arrive to that number."

Vettel has not finished lower than fourth in any race this season and, asked whether it would require some retirements by Vettel for Alonso to catch him, Domenicali said: "I would not wish it on him but if it happens I would not cry.

"This year things may change very quickly, if you have a difficult race things can change again but for sure he is very strong. Last year we had 50 points advantage, more or less, during the summer break and we lost the title, unfortunately for things that were not in our hands.

"So I cannot watch outside, I just watch inside. We need to ensure the car improves in the day before the race."

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